A corner of the State Street parking lot downtown opens to outdoor dining on Thursday, July 2, to help local restaurants and their supporters enjoy dining out safely, while continuing to observe social distancing guidelines.
The State Street Commons is a temporary installation that will be in place until the end of fall, when the outdoor dining season ends. City Small Business Development staff are working with restaurant owners elsewhere downtown, to review other potential outdoor dining areas.
The State Street Commons is at the west end of the parking lot, adjacent to the rain garden and adjoining the back sides of the Griffin Grill & Pub, Cricket Club, and Kitchen Proper. Staff from those businesses will help maintain the new dining area, however, they will not provide restaurant service there. Like a park, the Commons is open for visitors to enjoy food they have picked up from a restaurant.
The Commons will be open to the public during the three restaurants’ business hours. Patrons of the other restaurants on that block of West Michigan Avenue also can use the outdoor dining area.
City crews have placed barricades, to mark the area, and picnic tables. Staff will add additional fencing to create private outdoor eating areas for the adjoining businesses, within the existing sidewalk area connected to their properties. Pedestrians can continue to move through the Commons area.
Staff will continue to improve the Commons, and a team of city staff, the restaurant owners, and ABM Parking will help maintain and clean it.
Please enjoy this new outdoor dining area as you support local restaurants downtown. Please also watch for signage about the number of people safely allowed in the Commons, and practice social distancing when you visit.